Props to the people who maintain fglrx-driver for Debian

I have a Dell system with an ATI Radeon X600 video card. Running Linux and using that card has been a continual pain, as I’ve had to go get ATI’s latest Linux driver and figure out wtf to do with it. Well, I updated my system at some point in the last 3 weeks, and this morning I rebooted for the first time. Well the ATI driver I had supported 6.8, not 7.1.1, and on and on. While Googling to find a solution, I discovered that a Debian packaged ‘fglrx-driver’ now exists! I `aptitude install`ed it, and bam, X worked again! Phew…

Update: I did a fresh reinstall of Debian Etch and X would not work. I needed to add “contrib non-free” to the end of the lines in /etc/apt/sources.list, do `aptitude update`, and `aptitude install fglrx-driver`.

SATA and Linux on HP dc5750

I recently obtained an HP dc5750 Small Form Factor PC. This system includes in ATI SB600 Serial ATA controller. It also uses a BIOS named 786E3. With AHCI support compiled-in to Linux kernel 2.6.18, I would get errors to the tune of “device such-and-such failed to IDENTIFY”. I don’t remember the exact error message, and it’s fixed now; sorry. 😉

In my experience, all BIOSes before the v1.54A released on Nov. 9, 2006 come configured for Windows with the SATA controller stuck in a “Legacy IDE” mode. There isn’t even an option for regular operation. Once I upgraded to v1.54A, an option became available in BIOS for regular operation. After making this change in the BIOS, the drive worked beautifully with the AHCI SATA support in the Linux kernel.